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Tusk Says Europe Fails To Find Common Ground With Trump On Several Issues


BRUSSELS -- European Council President Donald Tusk has said U.S. President Donald Trump and senior European Union officials failed to find common ground on several issues at a meeting in Brussels on May 25.

Tusk told reporters in the Belgian capital that while there was agreement on issues such as counterterrorism, "I am sure that I don't have to explain why, but some issues remain open, like climate and trade.”

Trump, on his first foreign trip since taking office in January, met with Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.

The meeting came three days after a bomber in Manchester killed 22 people, some of them children, and injured about 60 more when he detonated an explosive device following a concert in the English city.

EU leaders were eager to hear how Trump intends to handle Europe after a presidential campaign in which he voiced support for Britain's vote to leave the 28-nation bloc.

"My main message to President Trump was that what gives our cooperation and friendship its deepest meaning are fundamental Western values like freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity," Tusk said after the meeting.

"The greatest task today is the consolidation of the whole free world around those values -- not just interests. Values and principles first -- this is what we Europe and America should be saying."

Trump, who was accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, "expressed concern that jobs in the U.S. would be lost because of Brexit," an EU source with knowledge of the meeting said.

Tusk said that while it appeared he and the president were "on the same line" with regard to the situation in Ukraine, he was not sure that "we have a common position, common opinion about Russia.”

Trump "expressed concern that jobs in the U.S. would be lost because of Brexit," an EU source with knowledge of the meeting said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Trump was accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Trump was to meet newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron for a working lunch before heading to a NATO summit in Brussels later in the day.

With reporting by Reuters
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